Protocol for a multicentre longitudinal mixed-methods study: feeding and survivorship outcomes in previously healthy young paediatric Intensive care survivors (the PIES Study)
IntroductionAn admission to paediatric intensive care unit (PICU) is associated with multiple physical and environmental stressors, often involving many negative and painful oral experiences. Evidence from children with complex medical conditions suggests that feeding difficulties post-PICU stay are common, causing significant parental anxiety. Adult intensive care unit (ICU) survivor studies suggest feeding issues lasting up to 3 months post-discharge from ICU. There is, however, a paucity of
... ever, a paucity of evidence regarding feeding outcomes for previously healthy children following a PICU admission and whether painful oral experiences during an admission contribute to feeding difficulties post-discharge, negatively impacting on parental/caregiver anxiety.Methods and analysisThis longitudinal mixed-methods study will explore the impact of feeding difficulties, identifying any clinical risk factors during the first 6 months of PICU discharge in previously healthy young children (≤4 years). Parents/caregivers of children will be asked to complete questionnaires relating to: feeding difficulties, parental/caregiver stress, and child and parental/caregivers' feeding behaviours at the point of PICU discharge, 1, 3 and 6 months post-discharge. Parents/caregivers will be invited to participate in qualitative semistructured interviews at 3 and 6 months post-PICU discharge exploring parental/caregiver experiences of feeding their child after PICU. Statistical analysis of the survey data will consist of descriptive and inferential statistics, plus qualitative analysis of any free text comments using thematic analysis.Ethics and disseminationThis study will provide an insight and increase our understanding of the prevalence of feeding difficulties in previously healthy children admitted to PICU and parental/caregiver experiences. Multiple methods will be used to ensure that the findings are effectively disseminated to service users, clinicians, policy and academic audiences. The study has full ethical approval from the National Health Service Research Ethics Committee (Ref: 20/YH/0160) and full governance clearance.